That Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand

That Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand review by the fat rum pirateThat Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand. The Issan Distillery is situated in the North of Thailand. They release their own rums under the name of the distillery. I’m pretty sure they don’t have much of a distribution deal in Europe (particularly the UK) because I cannot recall seeing any of their own releases for sale here.

Before getting my hands on this rum I was aware of Issan. I frequently visit the various rum forums on Facebook so I had seen a little discussion around Thai rums and Issan was often cited as one of the better offerings. Lance over at the Lone Caner is the only person I have seen review any of their rums. He reviewed their white rum here.

Other than that review I cannot recall seeing much about the Issan Distillery or any of their rums. That Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand comes in the now familiar thin 50cl bottle, used by all the Boutique-y Rum Company offerings so far. The design on the front label shows the Pot Still on which this rum was distilled. It has been bottled at 40% ABV. It is unaged this is noted as the first batch. 836 bottles were available on release. You can pick it up here for £38.95. Which as far as a white unaged rum goes is fairly expensive for half a litre. Especially at 40% ABV.

That Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand is a Pure Single Agricole Rhum. No additives. It is produced from native Red Sugar Cane. The rhum itself is made from sugar cane juice in the Agricole style. Quite why this isn’t reflected in the spelling on the bottle I’m not quite sure. Maybe it is because it isn’t “certified” in any way as a Rhum Agricole.

It is also noted that the red sugar cane is peeled by hand before being crushed which ensures only the “heart” of the sugar cane is used. The good stuff if you like. All the sugar cane used is grown at Issan’s own sugar plantation.

So it’s all good stuff and as we know Agricole style r(h)um is usually more expensive than molasses based rum. I’m not going to go into or argue about the economics of that today (or probably any other day).

So let’s see how the juice works……..

Completely clear in the glass as you would expect from an unaged rum straight off the still. Diluted (I assume) down to 40% ABV.

A very vegetal, very grassy nose similar in many ways to the Cor Cor Rums from Japan. Rhum Agricole might be what you first think when you learn this is a sugar cane juice rum. However, this rum smells more pungent and is much more aromatic than most unaged white agricoles – especially those at 40% ABV.

It’s a smelly rum – half way between white agricole and a Jamaican White Overproof with a further nod to a Haitian Clairin. It’s a stinky rum filler even at this low ABV.

Freshly cut sugar cane, Papaya, Lychees in syrup, rotting vegetables, banana peel and some light notes of curry powder. It’s a very intense and very interesting nose. There are some sweet/sour notes that run along as well.

Sipped it is much more refined than the nose nose suggests. It’s nowhere near as complex as you might expect. It’s much more balanced and “agreeable” than you would have thought.

That is not to say it is without flavour or is a standard boring white rum. It definitely isn’t. The initial sip is sweet bursting with sweet vegetal sugar cane notes. A light sprinkling of black pepper and chilli powder give it a bit of a spicy bite.

That Boutique-y Rum Company Issan Rum Thailand review by the fat rum pirateUnfortunately this rum does taste a little watery. A higher ABV say around 50% would have given this a bit more body. As it stands once you get past the initial burst of sweet sugar cane the rum fades quite quickly the mid palate is very light and the finish is pretty minimal. You get a slight burn on the palate but nothing to write home about.

As a mixer it is a bit like a lot of white unaged cachaca. It kind of gets a bit lost in the mix even with Lemonade.

Overall, this rum (and the distillery) clearly have a lot of potential. Unfortunately, this rum falls a little flat solely for being a bit weak ABV wise. I say this, not as someone who demands Cask Strength or Overproof offerings. I’m perfectly happy with a lot of 40% ABV rums. This one however left me a little cold. There is definite potential though and hopefully Issan’s one offerings aren’t dosed or mucked around with.

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